Monday, May 21, 2007

Individual Black-Eyed Pea Salad

This quarters the recipe (the original, posted below, makes 12-18 servings, so this should make 4 servings or so).

1/2 cup red onion or sweet onion, finely chopped

1/2 bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1/4 fresh jalapeno, finely chopped

1/4 cup red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar

1/8 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 dash Tabasco sauce

1/8 cup vegetable oil

Fresh basil to taste, sliced (optional)

1 large can black eyed peas, with snaps

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate before serving, preferably overnight.

Here's the full recipe for the black eyed pea salad, which gets better the longer it marinates. It's good to make it at least a day in advance, and by day 3 it's usually heavenly. The recipe also makes enough marinade for up to 7 or 8 cans of peas, in case you're feeding an army.

Black Eyed Pea Salad

1-2 cups red onion or sweet onion, finely chopped

1 or 2 bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped (red bell, green bell or a combination)

1-2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 fresh jalapeno, finely chopped

1 cup red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 dashes Tabasco sauce

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Fresh basil to taste, sliced (optional)

4-6 small cans black eyed peas, with snaps

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate before serving, preferably overnight. Makes 2-3 servings for each can of peas.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Alton tips on CFS

He uses the tenderizer my mom does, but I also just tried perforating
it with a knife -- goes pretty quickly.

He salts and peppers the meat first, then flour/egg/flour, then lets
it set up on a cooling rack 10-15 minutes to get a good crust.

Finally, he doesn't use a whole lot of oil -- and he knows it's ready
to put the steak in when it starts to "shimmer."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Alton's Peach Cakes

Simplified from original, and made for 2. (Just double if you have 4 ramekins.)

Looks pretty quick and easy, and all you have to buy at the store is peaches (1 for 2 people, 2 to feed 4 people) and a cup of buttermilk. (Plus whipped cream or ice cream if you want it.)

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 peach, peeled and cut in slices or chunks
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/16 tsp baking soda
1/16 salt
1/2 Tbsp melted butter
1/6 cup sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk*, room temperature
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Place in each ramekin (recipe is for 2 ramekins): 1/2 Tbsp butter, half the brown sugar, half the peach pieces. Combine the dry goods in one bowl, the wetworks in another (this includes the sugar; start by melting butter in a little bowl), and then put them together but stir only enough to combine. Pour half into each ramekin over the peaches. Bake on middle rack 20-25 min.

Let cool 5 min, run a knife around the inside edge of the ramekin, cover with a plate and invert to release. Alton suggests whipped cream or ice cream!

* says: Buttermilk Substitute

If a recipe calls for buttermilk and all you have in your refrigerator is regular milk, you can make an acceptable substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Let this stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes, or until you see the milk thicken to the consistency of buttermilk.

Crab Rangoons

My husband loves these little dudes, and I always have extra
potsticker wrappers left after potstickers. A speculative version,
based as always on someone else's real version (in this case the Cape
Cod Times):

4 oz. cream cheese
1lb can claw crab meat (pick out all the shell parts)
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced

Fill and fry as quickly as you can (canola oil in bottom of deep wok,
30 sec each side). Too many at once lowers the oil temp. Drain on

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Carrots and Yogurt Cheese Dip

Snack pack of carrots
32 ounces low-fat or non-fat yogurt that says "contains" "live" or "active"
Packet of ranch mix

Line a large sieve with 4 layers of damp cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl. Spoon the yogurt into the sieve, cover, and chill for at least 3 and up to 12 hours.

Stir with the ranch mix... or garlic/herb mix... or spread it on crackers with smoked salmon and capers...

Simple Lasagna

Untested, but doesn't seem too bad.

At fancy grocery:
1 cup ricotta
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp basil
2 Tbsp Italian parsley
2 Tbsp thyme
2 Tbsp oregano

At regular grocery:
1/2 lb Italian sausage
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
garlic (3 cloves, minced)
2 14oz cans diced stewed tomatoes
6 lasagna pasta noodles

Cook the pasta noodles al dente.

Crumble, saute and drain the sausage. When it's kind of cool, mix with the ricotta and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella.

Clean out the pan and saute the garlic, herbs and spices in a little olive oil. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Set aside.

Layer: Tomato mix; 2 noodles; Sausage mix; noodles; tomato mix; sausage mix; noodles; tomato mix; extra mozzarella.

Bake 25 minutes at 350.

Cheat: Italian breaded pork chops

Just so I don't forget this option. Super-easy and juicy if I don't overcook.

Buy pork chops.
Dredge in Italian bread crumbs.

easy, no? Recommendations include frying a 1-inch chop only 2-3 min per side, then setting on a wire rack/cookie sheet in 325 over for 4-6 minutes to drain and finish cooking without getting tough.